What does public transport look like post-covid?

With covid restrictions coming to an end, it’s natural to feel uneasy about the long-awaited return to the ‘old’ normal. But how will lifting these restrictions impact public transport?

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July 19, 2021

With covid restrictions coming to an end, it’s natural to feel uneasy about the long-awaited return to the ‘old’ normal. But something that’s at the forefront of many minds is how the lifting of these restrictions will impact public transport.

Workplaces are opening their doors again, big events are finally easing their way back into our everyday lives and leisure travel is set to take a major role in the next few months, with a huge 84% of Brits expected to opt for a holiday at home in the UK this year. With all of this in mind, it’s predicted that the devastating drop in public transport use since that first covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 will make a swift U-turn. This leaves us all thinking: what does public transport look like post-covid? Will we be fighting for seats on the train and getting too close for comfort with perfect strangers again? Or will we look to introduce more safety measures to our journey planning?

Using Personal Discretion

The latest advice when it comes to face coverings, social distancing and our general behaviour on-board public transport, is to adopt our own ‘personal discretion’ to use common sense and form our own decisions. However, as we’ve seen this week, several city mayors (including the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan), transport officials and transport companies have announced that face coverings will still be mandatory beyond the 19th July, despite the government’s latest parliamentary update.

Subsequently to this, it’s predicted that there will be a lot of hit-and-miss anomalies with public transport. Although masks are here to stay for the foreseeable future, it’s likely that crowding and general busyness of trains, tubes and buses will increase to a level we haven’t experienced since before lockdown began.

How is Tech Shaping the Future of Public Transport?

We know that using public transport will be inevitable as normalcy resumes, which is why transport organisations are gearing up and preparing for the rush in advance. Luckily, smarter strategies that contribute to better commuter health and wellbeing are at our fingertips.

Our goal is to equip public transport systems with real-time data, artificial intelligence (AI) and personalised journey planning that eases and streamlines the entire travel experience. Our one-of-a-kind data directly assists with monitoring the risk of transmission on public transport. With patent-pending technology, scientifically proven to work by the University of Birmingham, we can tell passengers how busy a service or stop is likely to be and offer alternative, quieter routes if needed.

By keeping passengers informed, and helping them navigate around busier times, we can help operators manage flow and demand for different services - and even reward those who are able to choose quieter services. This level of personalisation is set to drive transportation for years to come.

Getting Back on Track

As more and more covid restrictions are scrapped, many people are naturally wary of returning to public transport. However, we believe that letting technology lead the way is the solution.

At Zipabout, our technology-enabled product has the capabilities needed to adapt to the unique demands of every individual. Whether they’re concerned about social distancing, they’re looking to stagger their journey to align with off-peak times or they simply want more clarity and advanced information on their door-to-door journey, our easy-to-use automated Messenger service can turn the tide for the better.

With train and bus journeys expected to become more flexible based on more controlled crowding data, safe travel can get back on track and public confidence can be restored.